Ok, now its official...The season is over! ;)
As of my last blog entry on the 13th, I was all ready to call it a season looking at a long stretch of 16 meets that started back in the beginning of May. But then, whats just 1 more right? I got the call to go to Daegu, Korea late Friday evening and was on a plane for a 20 hour travel to Asia 72hrs later. I had no expectations on doing well because I had been on "vacation" for a few weeks since the last meet of my season. Although it wasn't a true vacation...I had to move in and out of the Olympic Training Center and into my new place a few blocks away, twice! It was a very busy time for me that included NO Training. So, my expectations for Daegu where to me more of a tourist than an athlete...and it worked!
I managed to throw 79.86m for 3rd place in what turned out to be my 3rd best performance of the year. This was my 2nd trip to Daegu and I have had 2 solid performances there. Things are looking good for the 2011 World Championships that take place at that very stadium in just 2 years. After speaking with arguably the best javelin coach in the world, Kari Ihalinen of Finland...It turns out that a few weeks off at the end of the season can actually do some good for technical event athletes, given that they are still in somewhat decent shape before the 2 week layoff. Here are just a few examples of what some of the best athletes in the world have done after some rest and relaxation...
exhibit #1, Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway in 2008 after winning Olympic Gold. In his words "was drunk for a week straight, and wasnt even going to go to Zurich I decided to go at the last second..." Result, he had the greatest series of his life, threw over 90m and had 4 throws over 88m.
exhibit #2, Barbara Spotakova of Czech Republic in 2008 after winning Olympic Gold. I was sitting at breakfast with her at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, she was telling friends that she hadn't trained in 2 weeks and was drunk for most of it, her hometown threw her a party that lasted a week straight...she had no idea how she was going to even warm up for the meet...Result, a new world record!
exhibit #3, Andreas again, in Zurich...again! After winning World Championship Gold in Berlin, goes to Zurich again with no training for a week. Result, throws 91.28m, his 2nd best throw ever and wins by over 6m!
So what does all this mean? Should world class technical event athletes just decide to take a few weeks off prior to World Championships or Olympic Games? Hardly, there is enough science to show that isn't the smartest option, but there is enough science to show that an athletes mental state plays a huge role in their performance. To find the magical combination of physical preparation and tapering with the relaxed mental state of 2 weeks vacation...that is the key!
So whats next? For me, task #1 is kick this jetlag! Next on the list is finish getting moved in to my new house down the street. After that is to get my fall ITA ducks in a row and make sure that I am ready to start working with the local kids full time. Last but not least...
Rest and relaxation! My plan is 4 weeks off...let see if I stick to it.
Until next time,